Here at the Clog, we understand that this past year has presented us with unprecedented challenges and frustrations. On top of the confusion and chaos that come from living through a pandemic, many are also experiencing loss. I personally have lost five friends in the past six months alone. Some I didn’t know extremely well; others I did. These losses have had a dramatic effect on my life, yet I have found there are healthy ways to cope with grief and heal from the loss of a loved one. Here are a few of the ways I have been coping with these incredible losses amid these difficult times.
Never stop celebrating their life
The last thing the person you lost would want to know is that you’re sad. I like to think about their favorite things to do and do them in their memory. For instance, one of my friends was obsessed with cheesecake. So whenever I’m feeling extra down that they are missing from my life, I run down to the store to pick up a small cheesecake. I know this doesn’t sound healthy, but stay with me! I come back home, dance around in my living room and have a fun night. The point is you need to live your life to the fullest. Life has this crazy way of passing by too fast, and it’s too short to waste an evening trying to forget when you could reminisce in the wonderful memories instead. Instead of wishing they never left, celebrate the life you had with them every chance you get. Order a cheesecake, dance around and smile knowing they are with you in spirit.
Choose an animal to associate with them
This is by far the most helpful way I have been coping. One of my friends absolutely adored butterflies. She was like one too: beautiful, optimistic, charming and friendly. When she passed earlier this year, I happened to see a butterfly in my backyard and it reminded me of her. Now, whenever I’m out in the garden and see a butterfly, I know she’s with me.
Make them proud
Don’t you ever forget that your loved ones are smiling from above wishing you the best. Follow your dreams like they would’ve wanted you to. Work hard, take mental health seriously and treat yourself right. Make them proud of the person you are becoming.
Talk to them
Sit in your backyard or the cemetery, wherever you feel most comfortable, and imagine they are next to you. Tell them how you feel. Tell them you miss them. Tell them about your day and what’s going on at the moment. Don’t be afraid to imagine they are still here with you.
There are thousands of ways in which people cope with grief. At first, it’s hard to catch your breath because you’ve been bawling your eyes out for so long. Sometimes, it’s frustrating, and you find yourself upset with them for leaving this world. Other times, the process is peaceful, such as reminiscing the memories you once shared. There is no one way to deal with grief, but I hope some of the methods I use can help you if you are struggling from a loss.
These techniques allowed all of the people I lost to turn into butterflies, never actually leaving my side. Healing is a hard process, but remember to look for the butterflies — never forget they are always with you and will forever remain a part of you.
Contact Natalia Brusco at [email protected].